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June 5, 2016 6:00 am
Good morning Summit search all of our campuses across the triangle before we dive in. This morning I want to make you aware of a couple things that will affect you. First is that coming up toward the end of June. I have an incredible opportunity. I'm going to embark on and it will affect you, at least indirectly. Most of you know that God first called me to be a pastor by calling me to the mission field and so I spent the first two years of my ministry as it is a church planter overseas in Southeast Asia have also told you that God never relinquish that call to missions overseas missions.
He simply showed me that my role in it, specifically, was to be a part of a church that sends and supplies the mission field and extravagant ways. Well, the elders of the church of extended an opportunity for me to go with my family and live with some of our church planters for a few weeks this summer. So, toward the end of June.
My family and I and one other family are going to be going to live with some of our Summit teams on the mission field, specifically in South Africa as well as central Asia. This is an opportunity for us to spend time on the front line, so to speak.
You know where I can be less of JD.
The guy on stage and on screen and more. JD, the guy who lives in the neighborhood and share Christ with people. It will allow me Lord willing not only to encourage your teams there, but also to renew my own passion for missions and to spend some focused time with my kids about sharing his passion, life on life with them. Now I know you hear that I know what you're thinking you like to take care of us when you're going over the weeks that I am going in this mission trip we are bringing in some of your favorite guest speakers from around the country and you will also be hearing from some of our own very gifted pastor teachers so let's just suffice it to say that you are in excellent hands.
While I am away. In fact, I am confident that these are going to be some of your favorite weeks of preaching of the year. In fact, to be honest, I'm a little nervous that you might enjoy them too much and I might get to know this is just a man to stay in minister over there, I would ask that you pray for my family and me as we prepare for this trip that God would refresh and renew my vision and passion for missions that he would use us to lift up the arms were missionaries that he would use this trip as a catalyst to reaching our goal of a church of planting a thousand churches in our generation and that my kids would not drive me absolutely insane on the plane ride here to there. We do that with me. We did for me.
Thank you, but not a ready clap there.
So, if you will not do that for me, which is raise your hand so I can look at it looks like everybody on that one.
That's the first thing the second thing was to tell you is just as a heads up. At the very end of the service today really that thing that we do from time to time where we extend an invitation for you to be baptized. If you never have right now. Today you say well, but I didn't come prepared. It's okay. We are prepared for you. We have everything that you will need housing to close get baptized in whatever you like. Why did nosing to go home wet. That's okay. The looks of what is outside go home wet.
Either way, so you might as well make it count right second Kings chapter 5 if you have a Bible and I hope that you do fuel opening to second Kings chapter 5 were in the middle of our series called the whole story and in this story. Today you were going to hear the stories of two people who are suffering. One is a follower of God and the other is not, but neither of them can figure out why they are suffering, the nonbeliever discovers that he has a terminal disease and he has only a few years to live. The believer is a 14-year-old girl whose parents had just been murdered, and she has been kidnapped and put into human trafficking and you see God weave their two stories together and thereby giving us a quick snapshot of what he is doing in the world and what he is doing in your life you see as we go through this series called the whole story you get these insights into what God is up to, not just in the days of the stories are written invoice up to and in our day. You see, I know that some of you have situations where you look at something in your life and you wonder what God could possibly be up to. Or maybe it's even made you wonder whether there is a God at all based on how things are going in your life that I remember as a kid there was this painting show that would come on after all the good cartoons on Saturday morning or over the kind of thing you'd watch when you totally given up on your day and you're not even watching TV for entertainment anymore. You're just watching it for distraction, otherwise known now as the HDTV channel in my opinion, but this show this guy a Bob Ross if I remember his name correctly would paint these pictures and he would explain as he went along at a very soothing voice. What he was doing better.
Remember this, I thought you to write it. Start by slapping these amorphous blobs of color onto the canvas and you would think. What is he doing with many of you know, do a couple of strokes or add a couple of Dodson you'd see like I know it's a cloud happy little clouds or if you want a happy little trees are the face of Nicolas Cage or whatever it was that he was facing one away.
That's what you to see God do in this story. You got a couple of things are to feel like accidental chaotic blobs of color that God is going to suddenly add a couple of strokes to and then all of a sudden a transforming of these beautiful works of art is to give you a glimpse into what is happening in your life saving fibers 1 to 18 is the story of Naaman y'all this is my favorite story in the entire Old Testament.
I'm serious. I love it more than David and Goliath. I love it more than Daniel and the lion stand.
I love it more than left-handed beehives sticking a knife in the fat man's belly that whole story. I love you more than all the stories and here's the thing. If you did not grow up in church, I guarantee you that you have never heard this story, but it contains the answer to those questions of what God might be doing when you can't see any evidence of his lovingkindness at all in your life. Chapter 5 verse one Naaman Main and commander of the Army of the king of Syria was a great mighty man with his master, and in high favor because by him. The Lord had given victory to Syria. Now hold on for a minute, Israel and Syria are enemies.
So when it says that God a given victory to Syria through Naaman who is it victory over its victory over Israel. If you remember from last week because of their persistent disobedience and idolatry. God said and people at the Syrians to punish them and eventually there to be driven off into captivity. While this is a story from that era what it was. His men Naaman who was this mighty captain of the enemy army.
He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now that's a huge but leprosy was the most feared disease in the world.
It began as the small white powdery patch of skin, almost like a rash that would very quickly spread all over your body and wherever it spread the nerve endings in your skin would die in these Boyles would break out all over your body and leave these gaping wounds of raw flesh eventually body parts would lose feeling in falloff your facial features would lose their shape and they would become grotesque.
Essentially, you would turn into a character on the walking dead in those days there was no cure.
Leprosy had a 100% death rate and in those days it was regarded to be highly contagious so the moment. One of these spots was discovered on you. You were immediately banished.
We would spend the next 10 or 20 years in isolation until you die mighty Naaman was on top of the world sit at the head of the mightiest army in the region of the time discovers one of these spots of death on him were soon on the Syrians on one of the raids and carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's white.
She said were mistress would that my lord what the prophet was in Samaria she's talking specifically about Elisha, who was one of the mightiest prophets of this of this era he he. Elisha could cure this man of his leprosy care. Naaman of his leprosy, burst forth Naaman when told his lord the king of Syria doesn't so slow the growth in the land of Israel and the king of Syria said go now I'll send a letter on your behalf to the king of Israel, so Naaman went, taking with him 10 talents of silver and 6000 shekels of gold and 10 changes of clothing as a gift that he can give to realize that this would've been by the way an enormous sum of money 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold clothing might seem like an odd addition, $50 million and some shirts. But in those days, clothing was handmade and it was very expensive and this would've been with a whole party clothing. Most people would never even own a single set of these kinda close to having Tim sets of these closed would be like having a garage full of Rolls-Royce is put it this way, the man of God going to be blinking after Naaman shows up verse six and he brought a letter to the king of Israel. The letter said when this letter reaches you know that I sent to you, Naaman, my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy. When the king of Israel read a letter he tore his clothes and said, my God, to kill and make alive.
It is Manson's word to manicure a man of his leprosy only consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me. In other words, he thinks the king of Syria is looking for an excuse for him and asked you to heal him and you didn't. So now I'm going to destroy you, per se, but when Elisha, the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his close he sent to the king why did you join your close let them come now to me that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.
Elisha UC perceives a bigger purpose in this leprosy, God is wanting to do something in Naaman's life is wanting to show something to the entire nation of Syria verse nine through Naaman came with his horses and his chariots, and you can imagine what this would look like need this mighty cavalcade of horses and chariots showing up at little Elisha's house would be like a big army of your suburbans and in helicopters showing up at the end of the church service right out here the parking lot and there they stood at Elisha's house. Verse 10 Elisha sent out a messenger to him, saying, go and wash in the Jordan seven times in your flesh will be restored and you shall be clean.
Elisha not even go out to see him. He sends a messenger to an intern he sends an intern outdoing, by the way, how would you like to bend this kid.
I deliver that message. I'm sorry Mr. Naaman powerful man in the world, most powerful, and Dr. Elisha cannot see you today.
He has no room in the schedule. I know you traveled all this way, but he just is too busy me what you know Elisha's house cannot been a big so Naaman can slip in there and see him sitting on the couch with his feet up on the coffee table, watching the Bob Ross paving show or whatever he was doing and I read this week, Steve Jobs got really upset Steve Jobs, the Apple dock when after they released the first iPad, Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff called to congratulate Steve Jobs instead of Pres. Obama himself, and that totally sent Steve Jobs and the dislike mild depression. Here, you got the most powerful man in the world come into the hold of a relatively unknown prophet and the probably more you come to the door he sends out an insert what you think God is doing here. Verse 11 but Naaman was angry. He felt disrespected and he went away, say, behold, I thought surely he would come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord is God wave his hand over the place and cure lever father be like a ceremony. Elisha would run out of a smoke-filled tunneling Jets would fly over and then Beyoncé would sing and then we walk on hot coals and do a dance and drama snake and Bama the yield.
Furthermore, are not a bond on far far the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel could not wash. One of them in the claim.if you been Israel not been one time and tell you the most unimpressive thing you will ever go to is the Jordan River.
I'm thinking like baptism of Jesus is going to be a Mitchell but it's like coming most of the creeks that are in Raleigh-Durham are bigger than the Jordan River is so unimpressive. Make sure you get whole body and into the Jordan River to be honest with you plus another 15 miles out of the way from where this guy is any site. This is single commit waste. So we turned anyone off and arrange the word for rage in Hebrew means literally super ticked off these already plotting his revenge about what he's gonna do, but his servants were 13 notice more servants come near and say to him. My father if it was a great word prophet spoken you when you've done that all he said he was washing be clean other words, if he told you get the berries off of a plan at the top of Mount Everest who told you to quit the toenails off of a Dragon you would've done that right now I told you was going watch what you got to lose Naaman try it will swing by the Jordan way home and if it didn't work when you come back and open up a cannibal trash on these people and will all help verse 14. So when Downey dipped himself seven times in the Jordan got a picture the scene, and he's seething with rage and he gets into the Jordan River inside its whole body and a muddy nasty little creaky he stands up and and when he stands up. It's no different than he was and so he needs us to shake his head and serves a dual wartime ghetto 7×2 times no change 3.4… Six. But at six Tommy is just and he is is angry. You just feel his anger and his servant like just one more.many said seven times he goes down at seven time he comes up cussing and when he comes up it says he looked, and behold his flesh was restored of the flesh of a little child was clean.
He looks at his arm and install the skin of the baby skin is totally completely heal verse 15 when he returns to the man of God Elisha.
He and all of his company. He came and stood before many said stop he's meeting Elisha for the first time depending on what he has a terminal disease that this man has just healed him from if you were meeting the man who healed you from a terminal disease. For the first time what would you say to him if you come out something like thank you for saving my life. Thank you for giving me by my family and my kids about what he says right there verse wherever we are, behold, verse 50. Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but it Israel.
He makes not first mention of leprosy. Naaman was not looking for God. Naaman was looking for a cure for leprosy. But God used his search for a cure to lead him to something even greater than the cure itself and that his relationship with God himself and the knowledge of God that Naaman found was so valuable that when he finally met Elisha for the first time he forgot to even mention the healing all he talked about was God number one God uses your pain to bring you to himself. You see, here's the question I want you to think about in your life.
What if God had a much bigger purpose in your pain. You see, up until the moment that Naaman discovered this spot on him. He had felt like he was on top of the world. It says that he was on the Kings arm which meant that he was the king's right-hand man said that he was highly regarded, which meant he was a celebrity with a lot of Twitter followers and everybody loved him all that was taken away in a moment by one small spot one small spot may Naaman realized how fragile and fleeting.
Everything was what if God was saying that to you through your pain or your problem. What if that problem that is there in your life and been put there by God not to punish you but had been put there to try to wake you up.
I know a lot of athletes in our church that point to an injury that they couldn't understand why it happened, as the thing that woke them up to the important things in life.
I was once introduced to a professional athlete in the area is just signed a multimillion dollar contract to play in the pros, but then surely about two weeks after he signs a contract he gets into an accident doing something dumb but totally destroyed his future career misguided know God's career is professional career become as God. So we met this coffee shop and eat healthy with tears in his eyes.
He said when I had that accident. I lay there on the ground my legs broken I knew my ledger broken. I kept saying to myself I can't believe I threw away my entire career for a few fully seconds of fun hello back in on us and respectfully Mama trying to be like the self-righteous preacher, but I think God might've been up to something much bigger in your life. If I don't think I might've been trying to say to you, you were throwing away your entire eternity for a few seconds of glory and athletic arena make a long story short, God and of using this to bring the Scott of Christ. Here's my question. What if God in your pain had something for you beyond far better than the cure that you seek for that pain. What of what he had for you was better than a professional athletic career. What if it was better than riches.
What if it was better than health. What if it was better than a relationship. And what if this thing that she had for you was so valuable that after you found it like Naaman he's got even mention the healing that you received many. I think if you asked her your boss to get Friday off right and in your boss says send back a messenger to your your your where your cubicle later says you have Friday off and were raising your salary by $300,000 a year.
When you call your spouse. Later that afternoon you not to talk about the Friday just got off because he just got eclipse and this only what we better think let me ask you where has a spot been revealed in your life that tells you that you're not us together as you might have thought maybe just encountered a problem in your marriage.
I can see how many men I know in this category.
They conquered everything in their lives and all the sudden they go through a problem in their marriage and it starts falling apart and you fly for the first time in your life. You can't do anything about it. Or maybe it's a problem with your kids and you now feel helpless and in light of this problem.
Maybe it's a habit that you can't break alcoholism, pornography maybe a temper problem. Maybe it's a fear that is paralyzed you that it's a personal failure.
You just gone through many as a health scare the for the first time in your life is made you realize your own fragile nature. Your mortality maybe it's the guilt for something you don't you just can't get rid of every this thing about Naaman in his spot. What I think of is that is that seen in McBeth relating to Beth after the murders trying to wash her hands to get this spot of guilt off of her and she's like out cursive spot. I can get rid of it. Maybe it's a dull aching unhappiness. You just can't get rid of that sense that you've never really found that love their acceptance or purpose. You've always craved them in looking for, you see that spot those spots point to a bigger problem was spot on your soul.
You see leprosy throughout the Bible symbolizes sin like leprosy send deadens the grows in you and corrupts you more more overtime you lose feelings in different part of your life. Part to be die, your innocence dies your joy dies your compassion for other people dies. Your soul has a disease and it is terminal. Scripture says for all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God and the wages the penalty, the result of sin is death. These lesser spots that come into your life can wake us up to the ultimate spot that we really gotta deal with in light of that when all the others are rather insignificant.
Not having to do this before, but before I became a full-time pastor was a part-time pastor and a little church that could afford to pay me full-time as a student pastor and so to make ends meet.
I worked as a support and architectural landscape engineer and south part of the crew that went around Port South Florida. We mowed yards and all the sensible, the chief of our crew was this guy who was about 6 foot seven I never knew his real name. We always just called and Ivan look like Ivan Drago and Rocky Ford Internet movie it look like the Russian from Rocky Ford.
We told him I'm on the dude could cost like nobody I had ever heard in my life. I don't cost but Matt had knowledge that that was art what came out of his mouth was like that, but I don't. That was impressive and so I one day after been about three weeks. He let out a string of words that again were very artfully put together, but he use the Queen Mother of all curse words that you GD and I don't know what I'm assuming it was the Holy Spirit but I just felt the sudden sense of like holy righteousness.
I put my finger in his face and I said I want to use them for God and on the days you have a record everything you ever said or done, and believing in the last thing you want in your record when you stand before God as a bunch of accounts of you taking his name in vain in the Holy Spirit totally left and it was just me and I'm pretty sure I heard one of the guys say if you guys you guys so I turned and was like you know it's not really Holy Spirit left amount suicide turn not in a big footsteps comes around.
He stands in front of these is what you say and I said it again, but this much more timidly and respectfully and he said you really feel like God's will be angry at me because of the way I talk or what I live in is Amana. The Bible says when they get a given account and yes you should not take his name in vain. All the sudden we get into this really deep conversation that I would never in 100 years of guest for about to get into, but two days before this he just got a report from the doctor because they found a spot on his skin, and they figured out it was melanoma and he said we don't know yet how bad it is a could be something they can take care of it might be something that's too far advanced in I may not have that long to live any said I'm scared. I'm scared and so we started to talk the rest of the day we used our breaks or lunch. We talked about the gospel the very end right before we all before we all got off the we were the field. We are working on the yard working on that was an accident that took place in the street right next to it and I'm a long story short, when the course of flipped over and said there was a kid trapped on the inside and he goes out there and he and he pushes this car. It was impressive. The beast of a man puts his car right side often and others as kid in there that he wouldn't dad but he was definitely very messed up as a because he and I worked in the witnesses to the accident. They made us wait there until the police got there and so we waited about 20 minutes of the first 10 minutes we stood there in silence. I'm just gonna and eventually, after about 10 minutes. He looks over at me. Look at me actually speaks out of the corner of his eye never makes eye contact is a man is a two days ago I get a diagnosis of melanoma. He said today you put your finger in your face and tell Mama stand before God, he said, now I see an accident where kettle was dies, he said, many thought, God is trying to speak to me said no man cometh not screaming at you. And if I were you I would listen. We continue on conversation with through three days and I and up putting your trust in Christ but the reason I share that with you is because I imagine that you different scenario, but I just wonder if there are people listening to me right now that there've been spots that have revealed themselves that are simply God's way of asking you. Are you ready for the ultimate questions. You see the point of this story is not that every leper who heads out of the Jordan River is gonna find healing for skin disease. The point is to show us that God uses these kinds of things to bring us to himself. This story is about how God pursues centers, not just then only for Susan today. In fact, a form of onerous I don't want to show you how the story ends. Mama says were 15 except now a present from your servant, but he Elisha said as the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will take none of it, name and urge them to take it, but he refused. Now you got a fabulously wealthy guy trying to give a gift to a pastor and the pastor refuses.
I do not know of a single other situation in history where that is ever happened with the Elisha knows that you received this gift might confuse everybody watching name and had started this process thinking that he could purchase the miracle because of his riches, and if he ends up receiving this gift evening gratefulness people might assume that he had been able to purchase it and the one thing one thing that has to be understood about the gospel is that it is a free gift of grace. It cannot be one. It cannot be earned. It cannot be purchased. It has to be received as a gift for 17 the name and said I would not please let there be given to your servant to mule loads of earth for. From now on, your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice daily God, but the Lord now. That's quite a jump in it. If you will take my multimillion dollar offer.
You could at least have some dirt what is going on with that his plan is to spread out underneath him whenever he sacrifices to God back in Syria is yours offer sacrifices to God in Israel the globe at Israel with him and offer sacrifice of the God they that is never commanded in the Bible, not one place he just totally made that up.
But it gets better for safety in this matter. May the Lord pardon your servant when my master goes into the house of Ramon.
That's a false God to worship there leaning on my arm and I bow myself in the house of Ramon the false God to the Lord pardon your servant in this matter. What he seems to be asking Elisha for permission to be a coward and bow down before false God.
Now, I would expect Elisha at this point to go Old Testament prophet on I know somehow if you hereditary cross unit ready for Jesus. That's what I was probably done. The servers 19 Elisha says go in peace. Naaman's obedience is imperfect, but it's a start and he's coming in faith. So God receives off like a lot of Christians forget this because they talk like you come to Jesus and then Pam also you wake up the next morning, the spirit filled, mature Christian your common God songs in your head all the Beyoncé at M&M on your iPod is transformed in the KB and Hank singing gospel tunes at times would say that's not true. You start out as a baby and babies crawl and they drool and they run into stuff and they break things and that's okay because your crawl in the right direction to see if you're serious about repentance.
God is serious about having you regardless of what shape you comment as a compassionate father. He will patiently guide you if you just come in his direction. You're the only thing you need to come to Jesus. The only things that you neither humility and faith humility. That's the one thing that God keeps going after with Naaman and that the one thing he's going after Naaman and the story to try to go to the top God keep sending them to the bottom. God will only speak to him through servants is to make Naaman bathed in a nasty Creek you see the path to God is the path of humility and you can't get there any other way. The one thing the one thing that you absolutely need when you come to God's need back is all that you need all that you needed me.
The one thing you can do without Naaman wants to find salvation to power and strength but it can be found.
That way it won't be found. That way, because it is by grace you can be saved through faith based not on how awesome you are. Even all the great things are to do its faith in what God in his grace did for you. When Jesus died on the cross. It's not of works, because God doesn't want anybody to boast Naaman's problem is his pride had so God is going to tear down his pride and God had to say you are helpless. You got nothing. You're only going to have my grace until you get that you're never going to be saved. You see the crosses on the cross absolutely destroys our pride because the cross tells you that God's verdict on your life was death you about how my doing. Got how my doing. God says how you doing death. That's how you doing most people want to embrace that most people don't really want to wrestle with that. Mostly what keeps them from the gospel is they don't have the humility requires to agree with God but the verdict on their entire life is death and hell and they were powerless to do anything about it, and their only hope is grace don't we talk about how much we love, grace we sing about it is sweet it makes us get sentimental. We don't really most of us want to be in in a position where we really needed because it is insulting not hurt a great illustration of this had a friend who went with another friend who was leading a one month long camping trip for high school students, which sounds like the seventh circle of purgatory.
To me, but he went with them to leave these high school students and this guy who was leading the trip had all the high school students are sure to read a book in preparation for the trip and said hey they get there to that the first day of the trip and they all shut up their backpacks by pipeline 50 pounds each. The first part of the hike is a 2 mile hike up to the crest of this mountain, and so the God says hmmm. If you read the book that I sign in about half of them said they read it. The other half a minute. It is that it can either meditate on the backpack that some you are to be Karen somebody else's back up to the top of the sale.
Not everybody assumed naturally that he was going to have the people who did not read the book, carry the backpack visited me the book as a kind of punishment, my friends, that he totally flipped it on. He said if you read the book. I want you to pick up not you just your backpack I want you to think of the backpack of somebody who did not read the book and I want you to care for the next 2 miles.
Now my friends had there was something you would have expected that the kids carrying the extra weight would be winding but they weren't. They felt awesome even though they had extra weight.
They felt like the extra weight was a complement to their competence and their strength and that pride boost made them not mind the extra weight. It was the ones who want carrying their bags who hated the experience because they felt humiliated because we don't like the feel meeting, we don't like to feel like were dependent on the favors of others. We don't like to feel like we are dependent on grace. The question is, I know you say you love grace, but do you have the humility that actually come to Jesus and say you got what I deserved. You took what I deserved. That was the verdict on my life. I did not get a gold star. I did not get a passing grade. Hi filled entirely and completely. And if you gave me what I deserve.
I would be apart from you forever because that is where the gospel begins doggy. One of the thing on this thing about how much humility it took for Naaman across the border to come in Israel Beasley worn inferior race to him. It was a despised culture. He had to admit that salvation was not found among the mighty Syrians Mitzi Y pointed out is about 10 of you. I would guess with all of our campuses that what I want to say next applies to you, you never thought that you'd be in a place like this with people like these, listening to somebody like me and I'm sure you know why you lost a bet. That's why you're here right now because we are born again Christians and born-again Christians knuckle dragging Neanderthals. You people use snakes obscurity people on ONS and with you way but you you you to say in your thought.
This is like there's no cost. Here's a question you have the humility to question your convictions in the humility to admit that salvation might actually come from people that you previously despised because that's what Naaman had to go through in order to find the ceiling humility and then faith is probably what God says and then he got accepted. God says is a river that can wash away your sins and heal you, but you have to believe that implant yourself in it and receive it is around is it can't be that easy. That's what Naaman said it can't be that easy.
If you're saying that it's only because you're still looking for a way that you can save yourself you looking for what mountain to climb. The salvation is not found.
It's not about what you do to save yourself. It's about what he has done that you simply believe and receive. You see, there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunge beneath that fly lose all their guilty staying that river is not made out of the good works that you do. It's not made out of religious you can be.
How many verses you know that river that flows is entirely fueled by God's grace to help in you plunge in and you believe it when you receive it baptism that we do it if it's a picture of. That's all it in the end, save you what it does to give you a picture what salvation looks like. Looks like it's put in the water.
You are basically putting yourself in the Jesus to save. I didn't do it. I didn't do the work of salvation. Unit and you put yourself into it and you receive it, and it washes away your sin makes you a new creation and you become in your heart white as snow before I go on to that. Let me show you one of the thing in the story minnow about bring about the baptism they number two God uses our pain to bring others to him is what we see from the store uses a premium payment bring us to him user pain to bring other people to him after we become believers was turned away from the pain of Naaman and go back to the little girl we saw the beginning because in my opinion, she's a real hero of the story Mr. question how would you respond to the person that had murdered a lot of your friends and family and then taking you as a slave to live in his house. How would you respond when that person got leprosy. I take exactly what I would pop old goons got leprosy. Now I get a front row seat to watch his decrepit old body fall apart and die and I will say there is a God.
That's what I was was in with a sweet little girl says with my Lord. With the properties in Samara.
He could cure him of his leprosy.
She seems genuinely care about. She seems genuinely care about them. Remarkably, she seems to have forgiven him somehow little 14-year-old girl has the faith to say I'll let God be the judge to make things right. I have compassion on Naaman. I really want to give this girl a hug when we get to heaven is also sweet 14-year-old girl whose name we never know gives us maybe on the clearest Old Testament pictures of Jesus thing about it. She was suffering through no fault of her own. In fact, her suffering was caused by name and said, but she for gave him what's more, her suffering became the means of his salvation right. Think about it.
Had she not been in this situation then Naaman would have not known about Elisha and then I would've died in his leprosy so her suffering which he because became the means of his salvation. In the same way our salvation would come to a suffering servant like this little girl Jesus suffered not for his own sin he suffered for hours and like her instead of hating us for causing the suffering he for gave us any Loving us in the suffering became the means by which we can wash our sins away when you tell him we kill him, but he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities the punishment that brought us peace was put upon him by the stripes that we put into his body to those stripes we are healed.
So Lord now. Indeed, I find I power and dine alone can change the leopard spots and now the heart of stone.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe sin had left a crimson stain my sin to love the crimson state his blood washed it white as snow.
Sears what that means for you believer like this little girl and like Jesus, God is going to use your suffering to bring other people to him last week we saw that God was punishing Israel for their disobedience by putting them in the captivity been here we see God had another purpose and send them out other nations he was going to use the suffering of the innocent people caught up in that like this little girl to point the Naaman's of the world. The salvation we get you to write something down.
It's a difficult statement, but it's true. Suffering is the God ordained means by which God brings salvation.
Others, the suffering of the church is the God ordained means that God uses to bring salvation to others.
Michelle you were that's in Scripture it's all over the place will a really clear place. Paul said it because of 124 the very difficult verse now I rejoice.
He says in my sufferings for your sake. But Paul is not a masochist you like. I rejoice in my sufferings because you're given to begin God. I just I'll take it no, I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, because in my flash my body wasn't as I'm filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions. What Jesus on the cross that it is finished. What he means something is lacking in Christ's afflictions the heart of Paul had the nerve to say something is lacking in Christ's afflictions after Jesus said it is finished. It's true that Jesus paid the full price for sin.
That part is finished and there's nothing that you or I could ever do to add to that the Paul understood that it would matter if Jesus died for people if they never heard about it. And while the work of salvation has been finished the work of evangelism has not, and Paul knew that in order for people to hear about Jesus's death and believably say wounds were going to have to appear in his body the way that God would bring salvation to the world.
I hate to tell you this an ongoing like they got myself the way the God bring salvation. The world is not to our elevation is not to our success.
It's not you are you becoming rich and awesome. The way that God bring salvation to the world according to Scripture is through suffering. 1952 of you may have heard the story of five young American men were scared to death on a beach in Ecuador as they tried to bring the gospel of arbitrage. People are never heard was an unexpected tragedy.
Jim Elliott that's before the name he was from that Nate St. three other guys they were just tragically killed right on the beach.
Others try to do is bring medicine, health in the gospel to this group of tribes people and everybody asked why would God let that happen while years later, Nate St. son his young son when he grew out they did this very careful investigation we told a lot of that out the Indians to actually murdered these guys, they become Christians about what happened on that day in through his careful investigation. Nate St. sons of the most remarkable thing in this interview was in this he says it looks like there's no way this could've happened. Apart from the direct intervention of God, meaning there were so many things went wrong at the same time just to random all the wrong together. They should should never happen. It was like God arranged it all just perfectly so that they could die. Which means that not only did God not protect them.
God seems to have arrange their deaths is because of Colossians 124 God appointed the salvation about this to happen to the death of the church is our salvation happened to the death of his son, she for the world to live in many ways the church must die some John Piper says that at any given moment in your life.
Believer there got into it about 10,000 things in your life you're aware, about three of the other 9997 you will know about, and others not hundred 9097 about 9992 to have anything to do with you. It has to do with what is God is doing through you to the world. God brings salvation to the world of the suffering of his church of the question is are you willing to take on wounds so that other people can come to Jesus. She maybe got up and put it on your heart that you make this financial sacrifice is really going to affect your lifestyle you want to come to give out the excess for God's is known to the given ways to change your lifestyle to bring a kind of pain in your life.
See that's become the means of salvation for others. Maybe it's letting your kids have the freedom to pursue the mission of God and love your kids be able to go on one of these mission trips, even though it scares you as a parent.
Maybe if your kids are grown, it means that you give them the freedom to not live near you. If God is calling them to live as a part of the mission somewhere in the world. I know you've always wanted to have your grandkids in your hometown if you live close to them, but maybe got a say I need them to be a part of this that I'm doing every year as part of your suffering and your to suffer by not being that close to your families, you always want the God you use it to bring salvation maybe is for you to forgive somebody and it feels painful to like death.
Maybe it's for you to endure the scorn of other people talk badly about you because your convictions and your choices. When I got really serious about God in high school I was the first of my friends to do so.
Drawing I made fun of by a lot of my friends and I was a Jesus freak the Bible banger and self-righteous and all those things and by God's grace, I kept going because I knew there was no other alternative than years later when I were not alone, but for five years later second year of college at this letter from a girl who had spent I probably talked to for 30 seconds total in high school I never knew we never had any kind of relationship she sent me this letter out of the blue says I became a Christian.
Lastly, she says they got person.
Let me Christ asked me what it was that brought me to faith in Christ to name the influences and she said the first person to my mom. As you she said when you've got serious with God in high school.
She said I was in a place right and we know what I believed.
See how you believe and you realize that I wanted to know Jesus. You never to do it. You never knew about how you endured the mockery of these people gave me the courage to follow him realizing I got that letter that God had appointed the mockery of my friends as a means of bringing her to faith in Christ or she can believe. Are you willing to become a suffering servant for others is getting the story of Naaman presents two questions. One of the believer want to, not a believer or believer. Are you willing for your suffering become a means of salvation we say God hereby use me like pain, which had enough pain, but that's what you gotta do to bring salvation to my kids, my neighbors, my family, my friends, and unreached people groups are got here must not believer. Let me ask you have the humility to come to Jesus ceiling takes two things humility of faith. Humility is the ability to admit he's your only hope, faith to believe that he will save you and reach out in faith and receive all things to bow your heads. If you would buy your heads.
If you have never received Jesus you've never experienced his forgiving salvation, or you're not sure that you have want you to get in your mind the image of Naaman stepping into that water of the Jordan River. I want you right now if you never have the plunge yourself in the Jesus embrace him. Jesus, I received this River your blood that was shed for me so that I can be forgiven and cleaned. I don't deserve this. I didn't do anything to contribute to it. I receive it as a free gift that it is Tarceva Jesus save me, save me a billion. Jesus says that the first act.
You were supposed to do after you receive him as your Savior's are supposed to be baptized as a public profession of that faith is at a wedding ring like declaring everybody else that you are serious about Jesus. Like I told you the beginning of this message to have a time where if you've never done that you can do it right now. Today what can happen is almost an everybody up and to save you want to be baptized, don't you right now if you have never been baptized.
Whether you just became a Christian, just like a couple minutes ago. Whether it was last week or last year, 15 years ago. 30 years ago never been baptized is becoming a believer which is a God.
I want to obey you here to give me the strength to incidental documents rings will now take the first step in strength for the freight you give people the ability to do what you have called them telling them to do.
In Jesus name, amen